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The Breeze.

October 19, 2011

Secret Admirer Blog just posted an interview with me about my work and, most excitingly, what music I’m into at the moment.  Hope I don’t come across as a bell end.  Also I currently have work in an exhibition called 3 C’s at APG Works in Sheffield and some comics in an awesome new Gallery / Shop called Good Press Gallery in Glasgow, which happens to be run by the good people at Museum Press.

Read that interview below…

Secret Admirer first started admiring James Nash‘s handy work when Secret Admirer’s eyes stumbled upon his poster for Out Of Step’s Male Bonding gig. From that moment on, Secret Admirer knew that more must be known about James Nash: the power behind the pencil.
When and why did you decide that illustration was the path you wanted to go down in life?

Drawing is one of the only things I’ve ever been good at I suppose. If not necessarily ‘good at’ then at least really encouraged to do. Or if not ‘encouraged to do’ then maybe one of the only things I was never told off for being bad at, the only thing I’ve felt relatively confident of being able to do. So even though that changes, it is a constant that carries you through. I did a good degree that really stretched me conceptually then I have spent a good few wilderness years afterwards doing different things and trying to figure stuff out.
How did you go about developing your signature style?

It was definitely never a purposeful thing like a lot of people try to achieve when they want to go about drawing in a ‘comic’ style, or sit down and decide what combination of ways they can lift the work of their favourite illustrators or whatever. It’s literally just a product of repetition, like a handwriting, certain movements have become neat shorthand ways of describing things and the combination of those things alongside the limited medium I use has just fallen into itself. Which is not to say that it won’t carry on developing, probably.
What stationary/equipment do you use to create your pictures?

Just a brush and black ink on paper. I touch things up and colour things in on photoshop a bit. I don’t really plan anything in pencil or anything – going back to the ‘style’ answer above, I just feel that the mark you make is just that and attempting to make it look like something else is kind of dishonest.
Who is your favourite client to illustrate for?

Anyone who provides respect and money is great. I’ve done stuff for lots of really cool people over the past couple of years and can’t really single anyone out. I just did a seven inch cover for Chapter 24 who are a great band, doing stuff for my man Rich at Out of Step is fun because I pretty much do whatever stupid thing pops into my head and he’s into it. I also help out a bit with his gigs, suggesting good bands I see in London for him to put on in Brum. Get A Grip also deserve a shout whilst I’m thinking about the Midlands – Kay and Sam run an excellent shop and screenprinting company that I have done a few things for a while ago.
Where did the idea for your diary comics come from?

That actually started at University. I was doing an essay about comics and subjective imagery that was to be ‘read’ rather than objectified. It spawned the idea of trying to reduce something as vast and boring as a persons diary and make it visually interesting and readable. It was also a good framework in which to keep myself drawing and disciplined whilst making a lot of really dry, conceptually overwrought work using type and book binding and whatnot. Then later on it kept me drawing and writing whilst I was having a tough few years and wasn’t really pursuing artwork stuff much at all. That’s when it took on a cathartic kind of personal importance for me and since has been the basis for everything I’ve done. I took some time off doing it for the first time in 6 years this year, just so I can concentrate on doing some longer, more considered things.
Have you ever had your work exhibited?

Yeah, a few times, all over the place.
Do you think people’s love for zines has reduced, due to the popularity of the internet? And are you trying to restore some love for zines by making comics and zines of your own?

I don’t think so at all, I think zines and comics are really growing in this country. The amount of people making things and selling them at the various fairs and things over the last 3 years or so has changed massively and the quality is amazing, and for me, often quite intimidating. There are great shops too, popping up everywhere. I’ve got stuff in a great new shop in Glasgow called Good Press Gallery which just opened. Good Grief! in Manchester is great. Jimi, Peter and Gareth who do the Alternative Press Fairs in London are owed a deep debt of gratitude for the amount of work they’ve done for the scene and all are amazing people too.
I think with the internet etc there is definitely a lack of need for the zine as a democratic voice in the face of mainstream media outlets, it just means the content is different, probably a lot more emphasis on them as an art object at best, a piece of brown-paper-laden craft at worst.
Are there any illustrators or artists that you collaborate with, or would like to collaborate with?

I have done little things with my friend Matilda Tristram and we work together to promote our comics a lot. She is a really close friend of mine and we had a joint launch thing for our most recent comic editions earlier this year which was ace and even pretty profitable. There are a load of artists I love, but could never see myself tarnishing anything of theirs. Much more there are so many writers and bands that I would kill to do work for. Paul Ashley Brown is a pretty powerful zine guy and you should check out his stuff if you get a chance.
Are there any other creative fields you dabble in?

I’ve been assisting an artist making these massive intricate collage pieces for the past year for a huge exhibition that just finished in Edinburgh. That has been pretty much full time but great experience in a slightly different field. I would love to develop the prose side of my work a bit too but that is a pipe dream as yet.
Which bands are you listening to at the moment?

Loads, I’m massively into lots of different music, mostly kind of introspective stuff.  I just got a record by Sandro Perri which is really fresh, my favourite of the past few years is Cass McCombs as everything he does is just achingly good.  I got to see The Sea and Cake for the first time recently which was so amazing after loving their stuff for years. Amazing dark odd beat stuff by Hype Williams. My Wolverhampton crew – Letherette and Bibio. The new Real Estate and Stephen Malkmus records are fantastic. My mate Bobby’s Haxan Cloak album is a masterpiece. Good London gutter punk stuff such as Not Cool, Please, Chapter 24 and Thee Oh Sees. Discoveries of older stuff like Kath Bloom and Jim Sullivan. I could go on…
Where can people get hold of your zines/comics/prints?
My website is jamesnashlovesyou.com, there is a shop on there and I try to update it fairly regularly.
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